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GK MB fusion 500 vs Aguilar TH 500

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Swakey, Feb 12, 2013.


  1. Swakey

    Swakey

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    So i've been looking at various lightweight amps recently. I had decided on the TH500 because i really like taking out the highs out of my tone.

    Now though i have the opportunity to buy a used MB fusion 500. I wish i had the opportunity to try both amps out side by side but i don't since no shop sells either.
    I've heard great comments about both but i've also heard that they are quite different and liking one of them doesn't mean you'll like the other.

    Can i get some input on this? Will i be able to dial in a tone that i like on the fusion? I really like tones like Anthony Jackson, Tony Grey and i'm sort of aiming towards something similar to that.
     
  2. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    From the tone discription you provided, and the players you quote, I can't see the GK being a better option for you in any way than the TH500. The TH500 screams that mid warm, round, articulate/punchy Tony Grey tone to me (interestingly, I sometimes describe the TH500 as a 'better RH450/750, which I think is Tony's amp of choice... warm and mid present like the TC heads, but less compressed, bigger down low, smaller, lighter, louder). Anthony is known for having a wider and totally clean tone, and even for that, the GK doesn't particularly come to mind.

    However, if you have a problem with the TH500 being a bit relaxed and organic up top, and are into that 'Norm Stockton' zing, or whatever, the GK does that wonderfully.

    Yes, you can tame down the GK, but that isn't really what it is about (just like you can lower the gain and crank the top end and relax the mids of the TH500 to get it a bit more 'clean and modern', but again, that isn't the 'tone in the designer's head'.

    Simplicity/reliability.... that is ALL Aguilar. No tubes, and just built like a tank. The power amp is a bit more robust in the Aguilar (impossible to drive that amp into 'protection mode'....they use a higher powered ICE module, limited down, versus the GK500 watt series amps).
     
  3. Swakey

    Swakey

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Yeah i thought so thanks for the input KJung. I'll probably just save up a bit more money and go with the aguilar.

    Any other amps that will suit my tonal preferences?
     
  4. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    I was thinking you already had the TH500. That little GK is a nice amp, again, much brighter and 'modern' sounding than the TH500. The TH350 is actually quite a little hammer also if you don't play super loud. Same front end as the TH500, super small and light, and a very conservatively rated 350 watts.

    Again, the Tony Grey thing really pushed me to recommend the TH500/350, but if you get a massive deal on the GK, a bit of softening of the treble and upper mids and a boost of the low mids would most likely make you happy.

    The Markbass Big Bang and LMIII kind of sit between the TH500/350 and the GK MB500/MB500Fusion to me... a bit cleaner and more even and treble extended (easily controlled with the on-board variable lo pass filter) than the TH500, and warmer, more mid present, and cleaner/more relaxed from the upper mids on up (i.e., less aggressive brightness as upper treble). (Edit: Quite a few players from that 'warm, mid present fusion' type tonal universe use the Markbass heads... Jeff Berlin, Tommy Kennedy, Hadrien Faurad (never can remember how he spells his name), Richard Bona (recently), etc.

    There are some pretty amazing blow out sales going on with the Genz heads, and the updated Genz Shuttle 6.2 is VERY impressive, and has a very nice low mid sort of presence to it that would fit your playing style. The 6.2 is a significant upgrade to the original 6, which was 'thinner and brighter' sounding.
     
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  6. starKee

    starKee

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Košsice,Slovakia
    Hm, Tony Grey little things...


    mr.KJ you are not stoping to amaze me...perfect estimation about Tonys tone and gear...
     
  7. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    :p I did not realize that Tony moved from the RH450 to Aguilar and the TH500. I did the same thing (although that is the only thing that Tony and I have in common, since I'd give a body part to have his talent:p). Interesting. I do hear the TH500 as 'similar but better' to the TC RH450 rig he used for quite a while.
     
  8. Swakey

    Swakey

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    No i don't own it yet unfortunately.
    How does the TH 350 compare volume wise to its bigger brother. I read somewhere that in order to get double the volume you'd need to multiply the amp wattage times 10? So would that mean that the 500 watt amp is just slightly louder?
     
  9. starKee

    starKee

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Košsice,Slovakia
    You are so right about his talent,when he gigged with Hiromi and my fellow countryman Martin Valihora(btw. one of the best drummers in Slovakia) I saw them couple times and it've been fantastic experience...

    So hope that after I've subscribed to www.tonygreybassacademy.com maybe it will cost me just a couple of euros and not a part of my body :) to share just a little bit of his gods gift...

    btw. sorry for OT,but after reading a lot of KJungs perfect descriptions of TH500,I bought this thing and also even didn't know about TG using it and it's one of the best piece of gear for my needs,all IMO,IME and YMMW etc.

    It's one nice big chocolate :) brown,sweet,full of different tastes sound in a really small box...once more THX A LOT Mr.KJung and other TBers for sharing your views on gear

    Peter
     
  10. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    Yes, wattage really isn't so much about volume as much as a full, noncompressed, open low end when you start cranking. If you really push hard and play loud, the TH500 will be noticably louder (a couple of db... not massive), but also it will stay a bit bigger in the low end and 'constant' as you turn it up. This will be more noticable at 8ohms than 4ohms.

    The 350 is very conservatively rated, so the only time you would really notice is if, for example, you were playing a loud pop gig and digging in at the end of the night. Since the TH500 is very small and light to begin with, I typically recommend those on a budget to save their pennies for another month and get an amp that will literally cover everything. However, the TH350 is so cool (it is SO small), and if you are primarily doing 'fusion' type playing with a mid present tone (which eats up less power than, for example, slapping funk with a deep low bass tone and lots of strong transient peaks), then the TH350 would be great. You basically lose the effects loop and a bit of headroom.

    Of course, the cab has a lot to do with it also. If you have a big 8ohm 410, IMO the 500 is a must. If you have a smaller, typically voiced 112 or a 4ohm 212, not as big of a deal.
     
  11. starKee

    starKee

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Košsice,Slovakia
    Absolutely right,I've been comparing TH350 vs TH500 with one 8ohm cab BagEnd S-15B and there wasn't a big dif. in volume,but with 350 starting overdrive and hitting the clip light,which isn't problem,much much earlier,with TH500 it's been almost impossible in reasonable volume so the 500 is really more 'constant' IME,can't comment on 4ohm application,
     
  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I've got a GK MB500 (similar to the MBFusion 500), and this is exactly the way I set the tone controls. It takes out the excessive "gank" and "exposed nerve ending" brittleness of the higher frequencies - which I don't miss, as the GK still has them in abundance - while adding a certain degree of perceived warmth & fullness from the boosted low midrange. Yet the overall tone remains clean & modern - just the way I like it! :smug:

    MM
     
  13. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I'm confused by the reference to rolling off highs vs. the mention of AJ in the original post.

    I have an MB800, and run it the same way as MysticMichael. Knock off the spike that you get with the treble at noon, and the G-K becomes perfect for a kind of AJ-ish open top end.

    But I hear Tony Grey's tone as much warmer, and more closed up top. Like the Aguilar...
     

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